Anna M. McRay

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Disaster Science

First Advisor

Dr. Wallace G. Harris


Events thousands of miles away from Virginia have led to enhancements of the existing evacuation and emergency sheltering planning, highlighting the need to consider more than traditional special needs populations. Updated state-level plans specifically address the medical needs of evacuation populations. Pets were taken into consideration and inclusion of dogs, cats, and birds in traditional sheltering planning has begun. Planning began to address those with social needs such as low-income families who may not be able to evacuate until the final hours of an active evacuation. It became clear that there were specific populations that had not been included in planning- jail populations, parolees in the community, and registered sex offenders. Each of these populations requires specific logistical planning and coordination to move, and needs to ensure that the populations themselves, as well as the general population in the receiving communities, are safe. This paper, reviewing information gathered from peer surveys, assesses shelter planning initiatives across the Commonwealth, for two specific populations - sex offenders and paroled offenders - and local emergency management preparedness planning for evacuation in times of crisis.